Thursday, August 28, 2008

Copper Fire by Suzanne Woods Fisher


In 1945, in the aftermath of World War II, former Resistance worker, Louisa, flees war-ravaged Germany to make a new life for herself in Copper Springs, Arizona. Once there, she falls in love and marries Robert Gordon, the small town’s pastor. Louisa finds herself with a ready made family as Robert has a young deaf son he is raising after a failed marriage and an elderly, persnickety, straight-laced Aunt Martha whom he takes care of.

Their quiet existence is interrupted when Louisa receives notification from the Red Cross that her young cousin Elizabeth has survived Dachau, one of the most brutal concentration camps. As her only living relative, the Red Cross wants her to take responsibility for the orphaned girl. Louisa wonders how the International Red Cross traced her to Copper Springs because she had changed her name and identity upon arrival in the U.S. When she arrives in Germany and attends the Red Cross, her question is answered. It was her former boyfriend, Karl Schneider, now an employee of the Red Cross. Karl recognized Elisabeth and then searched for Louisa.

Louisa and Karl were childhood sweethearts and in love until he betrayed her and her family. The betrayal was so horrendous, Louisa swore never to forgive him. But forgiveness is exactly what Karl seeks. As a means towards making him atone, she offers to forgive him if he tracks down Friedrich Mueller, a Nazi who cheated and embezzled residents of Copper Springs .

When Louisa and Elizabeth return to the U.S., the young girl does not easily settle into her new life. In fact, life with Elizabeth proves very challenging for the Gordon family. She is angry and abused and does not trust easy. It takes all their patience and every shred of love and understanding to help assimilate Elizabeth into a new, safe life. Soon, Louisa learns she is expecting a baby, adding even more to the colourful assortment of family members.

Copper Fire by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the sequel to Copper Star, the recipient of three literary awards by Reader Views. But rest assured, you do not need to read the previous book to understand and enjoy the sequel. The backstory is brilliantly interweaved into the current story and it easily stands alone.

This new inspirational novel by Suzanne Fisher is a fantastic read. With compelling characters, a plot with plenty of twists and turns, and an unforgettable contrast between a quiet peaceful town in the U.S. and a a destroyed Germany, this novel offers something for everyone. A must read historical novel likely destined for more literary awards.